Further details are emerging about the latest large-scale hacking attempt on the global financial network. Last week, SWIFT (the global interbank messaging system) alerted its clients to a sophisticated malware-based hacking attempt targeting a PDF reader, using knowledge potentially gained from malicious insiders.
A blog post by BAE Systems' cyber security unit last Friday revealed that the implicated bank was based in Vietnam. According to this report, the techniques used in this attack were similar to those used in the 2014 Sony Pictures hack and the 2016 attack on the Bangladesh Central Bank, and could be linked to a campaign that has been going on for almost a decade.
Yesterday, Tien Phong Bank, based in Hanoi, was confirmed as the bank involved in the hacking attempt. The bank announced that it had identified suspicious transfer requests made on the SWIFT system in the last quarter of 2015, but was able to act in time to prevent any losses. As such, TP Bank appears to have survived the attack relatively unscathed compared to the $81m lost in the February attack on the Bangladesh Central Bank.
Experts said on Friday that a Vietnamese bank was recently robbed by cyber criminals, using similar methods to this year’s record digital theft at the Bangladesh central bank and a 2014 data breach at Sony.